Attention Rising on Carbon

The next “hazardous” substance the industry needs to audit and report on may be carbon – OK, carbon dioxide (humans are 18% carbon). And the next killer app might not be a communications device or a video game but some vehicle for carbon tracking.

Cisco is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2012. Google wants to hit the target this year. Yahoo and Dell might already be there.

It’s only a matter of time, then, before these companies start pushing their suppliers to match their standards. Measures include lower-power electrical systems, solar and wind power for heating and cooling, and employee telecommuting and videoconferencing.

Unfortunately, there aren’t standards on carbon tracking, and the methodologies companies are using to measure and lower their carbon output remain state secrets. This goes beyond the domain of any specific industry trade group, however, so the temptation will be to do nothing at all.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

One thought on “Attention Rising on Carbon

  1. Cutting electrical energy consumption is a good thing. Saves the company money and more high density oil fuel for other applications but spare me the stupid carbon footprint issue. We are experiencing global cooling and Dr Roy Spencer (U of Alabama) has an explanation for this and the warming period. Anthropogenic global warming is a religious belief……… I’ll stick with the savior….

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